The Flower Power universe is vast, and populated with innumerable species, running the gamut from humble to ostentatious, from petite and delicate to overwhelming and in-your-face. Receiving an artfully arranged bouquet and chancing upon a field of wildflowers can provoke equal delight.
One person's weed is another person's wildflower. Yet wildflowers have a quaint and understated beauty that often plays second fiddle to larger, fancier flower varieties. Like the quiet pretty girl at the dance who doesn’t draw attention to herself, wildflowers wait patiently to be noticed, and once you do, you’ll be drawn to their delicate beauty again and again.
Poppies belong to the Papaveraceae family. One species of poppy, Papaver Somniferum, is the source of the crude drug opium which has been used since ancient times as an analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drug. It also produces edible seeds. Following the trench warfare which took place in the poppy fields of Flanders during World War I, poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime.
From Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery: Les Coquelicots by George Averhals, Belgian School (1906-1975)
Hollyhocks or Alcea Rosea are the epitome of cottage garden plants. These stately towers of flowers bloom for a long time in summer in a wide variety of colors. Chances are you’ve seen them alongside a barn, in front of a cute cottage-style house, or gracing the front of a white picket fence.
From Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery: Garden Scene with Hollyhocks by Leonie Mottart Van Marcke, Belgian School (1862-1936)
The English daisy or Bellis Perennis carpets the ground with tufts of small spoon-shaped leaves, which can be evergreen in mild-winter regions. Flowers on this daisy feature a bright yellow button center surrounded with a fringe of narrow petals. In floriography, daisies represent innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.
From Lawrence Jeffrey Estate Jewelers: Black Starr & Frost natural river pearls & peridot daisy brooch, circa 1890
The edelweiss or Leontopodium Nivale, is a mountain flower that grows in rocky limestone places at high altitude. It has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases. According to folk tradition, giving this flower to a loved one is a promise of dedication.
From Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry: Edelweiss brooch with petals composed of freshwater “wing” pearls centered by a trio of small round brilliant-cut diamonds, 1950's
In the words of Lady Bird Johnson: “Wildflowers are the stuff of my heart!”